Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence said on Sunday that evidence implicated Russia in recent email hacks tied to the Nov. 8 U.S. election, contradicting his running mate, Donald Trump, who has cast doubt on Russia’s involvement.
Pence’s comments came after U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview that aired on Sunday that the United States would be sending a message to Russia “at the time of our choosing” about the email attacks. Obama administration officials initially refused to say if they thought Russia was behind the attacks, before accusing Moscow for the first time earlier this month.
President Barack Obama said in an interview with NBC News that “anything’s possible” when asked if Russia hacked into the Democratic National Committee. “What we do know is the Russians hack our systems, not just government systems, but private systems,” Obama said. “But what the motives were in terms of the leaks and all that, I can’t say directly, but what I do know is that Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed admiration for Vladimir Putin.”
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, speaking about the hack of the DNC emails, said the U.S. intelligence community was not ready to “make the call on attribution” as to who was responsible.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson offered state officials help from hacking threats or other possible election tampering, in the face of unsubstantiated allegations by Trump that the system is open to fraud.
Speaking at a conference in Washington, Clapper said that “the Russians hack our systems all the time,” but he did not officially blame them for the intrusions into Democratic Party organizations.
During a live interview with the Washington Post, Clapper said Russia had a tradition of trying to interfere in elections in other countries. He added that his biggest concern was not that a foreign power would try to affect the outcome of the U.S. election but instead “cast doubt on the whole process.”
The U.S. government for the first time formally accused Russia of a campaign of cyber attacks against Democratic Party organizations.
“We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities,” the Obama administration said in a statement.
Biden said in an interview with NBC News that the United States would send a “proportional” response to Russia for the hacking “at the time of our choosing and under the circumstances that have the greatest impact.”
(Reporting by Dustin Volz in Washington; Editing by Peter Cooney)
Trump approves of North Korea missile tests: ‘I have no problem’ because they’re just ‘short-range missiles’
On Thursday, in conversation with reporters, President Donald Trump said that he had 'no problem' with North Korea's new round of missile tests.
"Short-range missiles, we never made an agreement on that," said Trump. "I have no problem, we'll see what happens, but these are short-range missiles. They're very standard."
The thought that short-range missiles would still be capable of hitting our allies in the region, like South Korea and Japan, does not seem to have occurred to him.
Trump says he has "no problem" with North Korea testing missiles because they are just "short-range missiles" that are "very standard." pic.twitter.com/fdKtQ6yrBE
Russian Twitter propaganda predicted 2016 US election polls
But one conclusion was unequivocal: Russia unleashed an extensive campaign of fake news and disinformation on social media with the aim of distorting U.S. public opinion, sowing discord and swinging the election in favor of the Republican candidate Donald Trump.
Beto O’Rourke calls for a ‘war tax’ in release of health care plan for veterans
The Democratic presidential candidate uses his eighth policy announcement to focus on an area that he prioritized in Congress.
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Monday morning released a plan to improve the lives of veterans, returning to an area of priority during his time in the U.S. House for his latest 2020 policy rollout.
In keeping with measures he supported in Congress, the plan calls for a "responsible end" to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — reinvesting $1 out of every $2 saved in veterans programs — and the creation of a Veterans Health Care Trust Fund for each future war. The fund would be paid for by a "war tax" on households without service members or veterans.